Elizabeth Warren Pledges to Legalize Marijuana

This leaves Biden and Bloomberg as the only candidates who haven't supported full legalization.

Elizabeth Warren smiles while talking to crowd Elizabeth Warren / CC BY 2.0

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren has pledged to legalize cannabis in her first 100 days in office if elected. 

This is according to the Senator’s “Just and Equitable Cannabis Industry” plan, released in February by the Warren campaign, prior to a town hall event in Colorado.

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Senator Warren’s plan to legalize cannabis calls for serious criminal justice reform through the expungement of criminal records for low-level marijuana-related crimes, charges which have been shown to disproportionately impact people of color.

The progressive plan also prioritizes small businesses and entrepreneurs in marginalized communities, as opposed to corporations, as well as the empowerment of veterans, and the protection of immigrants working in the legal industry, among several other key points. 

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The specific changes in the proposed legislation are summarized in a six-page document that was released by the campaign in February week.

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The announcement reads, in part, “Even as the federal government has held fast to its outdated marijuana policy, states have led the charge in adopting thoughtful, evidenced-based marijuana policy. And what have we learned in the eight years since the first states legalized marijuana? Legalization works.”

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The release further outlines Warren’s position on cannabis and the failed War on Drugs that has led to so many non-violent drug offenders being incarcerated and given permanent criminal records. 

The campaign’s plan goes on to say, “Legalizing marijuana is about more than just allowing recreational use, or the potential medicinal benefit, or the money that can be made from this new market. It’s about undoing a century of racist policy that disproportionately targeted Black and Latinx communities.

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It’s about rebuilding the communities that have suffered the most harm. And it’s about ensuring that everyone has access to the opportunities that the new cannabis market provides…No one should be deported or barred from citizenship for having used marijuana.”

The change in popular opinion has been particularly evident in the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary. The most centrist candidates on the stage, Biden and Bloomberg, are against full-out legalization; the rest of the candidates have promised to legalize marijuana across the country.  

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In last week’s debate, Democratic presidential candidates argued over how to best accomplish cannabis legalization. 

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It’s official. The American people want cannabis to be legalized, once and for all, on the federal level.

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Results of two recent national polls found that, as of 2019, support for the legalization of cannabis is at an all-time high, with over two-thirds of those surveyed indicating that they would support marijuana legalization. 

As one of Warren’s most popular campaign slogans goes, she has a plan for that.

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Over the course of her career in the Massachusetts State Senate, Senator Warren has been a tireless advocate for marijuana legalization, co-sponsoring dozens of bills in recent years.  

Senator Warren tweeted earlier this week, “I’ve got a plan to legalize marijuana, rebuild communities devastated by failed anti-marijuana policies, and ensure that those communities are equally able to participate in the budding cannabis industry. Here’s how we’ll do it.”

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Read the details of Senator Warren’s proposed two-part plan to legalize marijuana here.

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